Category: News

Journalists as Jaitley Fans is No News

By Atul Cowshish A somewhat amusing controversy seems to have erupted following the rash of panegyrics by journalists on Arun Jaitley after his demise. What has probably angered some is the drooling by journalists who are supposed to be ‘hardboiled’ and, hence, show restraint in expressing their emotions publicly. If this is indeed what some find upsetting then in today’s India it looks irrelevant. There was never a time in the past when some ‘top’ or ‘senior’ journalists had not cultivated ministers or politicians in power and appear to be their ‘personal friends’. Their proximity to the power centres might

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Appeal to 90 crore: “Elect candidates of religious equanimity”

Spiritual and religious scholars have appealed to 90 crore voters that they elect to Lok Sabha candidates who possess religious equanimity, good human values, believe in compassion and well-fare of all that will save society from the ills of this era of materialism. It is worth reminding that evidence is available that India’s democratic traditions go back 6000 years. Ancient Indian texts, Sanhita and Smritis and Vedic texts have detailed descriptions of the qualities of leadership. The central message of all religions—Sanatan Bhagwat, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Jewish, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism etc—relates to emancipation and public welfare. To be religious the

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Balakot Becoming Modi’s Winning Card?

By Allabaksh Narendra Modi rode to power in 2014 on the back of diatribes against the chosen bête-noire in the Opposition mixing it judiciously with ‘Jumla’-laden talk of ‘Vikas’ (development). Mid-way through his five-year term as prime minister, this winning formula appeared to fail him. Now with the next round of polls approaching fast, he has discovered a new trump card. The Pulwama attack by a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in Kashmir on February 14 had sent the nation into grief and shock. The Indian response on February 26 at Balakot in Pakistan’s KP province has rekindled hopes

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CITIZENSHIP WORRIES

By Malladi Rama Rao (The author is an old Northeast hand who covered Assam agitation and insurgency in Mizoram and Manipur) Technically, Modi’s efforts to legalise infiltration of the favoured few without loudly harping on Hindutva were checkmated on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019 as the Rajya Sabha could not even take up the Citizenship Amendment Bill before curtains came down on the 16th Lok Sabha, and the country formally slipped into election mode. Along with this law, the much hyped anti-triple talaq legislation – The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, as it is known, also lapsed.

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Anna Hazare’s Failed Resurrection Bid

By Atul Cowshish The contribution of Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption agitation in bringing BJP to power in 2014 was by no means small. He provided the initial momentum for the anticorruption movement in the country which the RSS/BJP cadres were able to turn into a whirlwind with blitzkrieg of verbal attacks by Narendra Modi on the then government. Anna was hailed as an anti-graft crusader par excellence. The frail body of the septuagenarian Anna had shaken the rulers as people flocked in thousands to hear him. The government of the day would send emissaries of the cabinet rank to

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Good Bye George Saheb

By Malladi Rama Rao He may have died as a loner 28 days after welcoming 2019, confined as he was to bed with Alzheimer’s disease for close to two decades but history will be kind to George Fernandes, the Catholic from down South, who strode the national scene as a fierce trade unionist, a diehard socialist and nationalist, who made the BJP mainstream when everyone else was treating the Hindutva champion as a political pariah. He was a complex bundle of contradictions no doubt but all through his 88-year long innings, he gave primacy to personal equations over ideology, earning

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Priyanka Storm Hits Indian Politics

by Atul Cowshish The timing of the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a general secretary of the Indian National Congress and given charge of eastern UP unleashed a political storm across the country and enlivened the political scene with some substantive debates, instead of the vituperative public discourses heard on TV channels and party briefings. Some of these comments appeared way too bizarre—comparing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the Congress ‘Brahmastra’—the ultimate weapon. A realistic assessment would have required some restraint in speculating about what she will be able to do for the party to make it the dominant political

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PAKISTAN’S QUEST FOR IMAGE MAKEOVER

By Malladi Rama Rao Book Review 1.Pakistan Adrift – Navigating Troubled Waters Author: Asad Durrani. Pages 260; Price: Rs. 699 Publisher: Westland Publications Pvt Limited, Chennai 2. Pakistan Under Seize, Extremism, Society and The State Author: Madiha Afzal Pages: 191 Price: Rs. 599 Publisher: Penguin Random House India Two latest books from Pakistan offer an interesting perspective on India’s neighbour who wants to make this country bleed with thousands of cuts. Asad Durrani, whose name is familiar to the Indian readers and the intelligence community, alike offers a combination of memoirs and reflections laced with dry wit and anecdotes to

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Vote for who can hold their tongue?

By Malladi Rama Rao With Election Commission’s plans to announce the Lok Sabha poll schedule in the first week of March, the countdown has begun for Narendra Modi’s tryst with destiny. Will his performance from the Race Course Road perch in Lyuten’s Delhi fetch him the coveted second term? Mamatas, Naidus, and Rahuls, as also Mayawatis, Yadavs, and Pawars are banking on the elusive X factor to achieve “BJP Mukt” Bharat. In the process, they have helped to make real Lal Krishna Advani’s dream of making the BJP occupy the central place of the Grand Old Party (GOP) in the

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